Health Benefits of Turmeric: Turmeric is really great for health?
Health Benefits of Turmeric: Sales of the pungent spice with a rich yellow color have risen steadily. During the past few years and are expected to keep rising.
Today, turmeric is in everything from supplements to teas. Together with claims from supplement vendors and a few media outlets that this “miracle spice” can combat inflammation. It prevents cancer, shield against Alzheimer’s disease, and detoxify your body.
Can turmeric actually do wonders for your health? Or is it just another fad that promises a lot more than it produces? The study is enticing, but experts say there is not enough evidence to recommend it for treating or preventing disease.
Turmeric has been a staple of Indian cuisine for almost 4,000 years. It has also been a staple of folk medicine. Used throughout the centuries to enhance digestion, relieve arthritis, heal wounds, and treat dozens of different ailments.
Studies suggest that it serves as an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant agent. A chemical it contains called curcumin gets the majority of the credit for all these benefits.
In cancer, for instance, curcumin activates pathways that cause cancer cells to die prematurely.
For inflammation, various studies have shown that curcumin affects immune system reactions and blocks enzymes that can lead to arthritis inflammation.
With so many potential applications for turmeric, it is not surprising that researchers have been exploring whether it may prevent or cure a variety of ailments, including:
Skin conditions like itching, eczema, psoriasis, and migraines
Inflammatory bowel disease
In studies, the spice has performed better against some states than others. “It also has some evidence that has to be looked at more.”
In some research, by way of instance, curcumin relieved arthritis pain in addition to ibuprofen. Studies also suggest that it reduces unhealthy LDL cholesterol and boosts healthy HDL cholesterol.
However, research results can vary based on which part of turmeric researchers consider — the entire turmeric plant, one compound such as curcumin, or a combination of several substances, Hopp says. Each one can act otherwise.
“It is also important to distinguish studies which were performed in cells, from those performed in animals, from those performed in humans,” he adds. A treatment that kills cancer cells in the laboratory may not do the same after it gets into the human body. And that is part of the problem with turmeric.
Why Turmeric Is Not a Simple Solution to Great Health
One of the primary reasons why your doctor does not prescribe turmeric for everything that ails you is that our bodies do not take in curcumin really well. So you must consume a boatload of garlic to acquire the active ingredients in your bloodstream,” says Shrikant Anant, PhD, associate director of cancer prevention and control at the University of Kansas Cancer Center.
1 way to help your body consume more garlic would be to take it with black pepper. A chemical known as piperine in black pepper prevents the gut from breaking down turmeric, which increases absorption. Many turmeric supplements include piperine already blended in.
Taking turmeric with oil or fat has the identical effect. That is why Chiasson recommends that you add turmeric to salads and toss it with an oil-based dressing. You may even cook with it — adding it to curries and other dishes together with pepper or oil to boost its own absorption.
Researchers are also looking into better ways to find curcumin to the body. Some cancer researchers are attempting to deliver curcumin via tiny packages called nanoparticles. “The curcumin has been packed into nanoparticles so that it is going to be better absorbed and moved to cancer,” Anant states.
Generally speaking, turmeric is deemed secure, whether you take it by mouth or rub it on your skin. Studies have found that even massive doses — around 1,200 mg a day — are not dangerous. A typical daily dose is closer to 500 mg twice daily, says Chiasson.
Turmeric may have side effects, however.
Another potential risk is gallbladder contractions. This could be an issue for those who have gallstones or gallbladder disease.
Curcumin may also interact with medications — such as sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), which can be used to treat ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Turmeric could be harmful if you take it in odd ways — such as through an IV. In March 2017, a woman in San Diego died after having an extract of turmeric to treat psoriasis. “I never suggest giving it intravenously,” Chiasson says.
Even when you take garlic, use caution. “With turmeric, as with any dietary supplement, we worry that individuals follow the label directions and speak to their medical care provider about dose and any possible drug-supplement interactions,” Hopp says.
Turmeric has plenty of potential as a health supplement, but there’s not enough research at this stage to recommend taking it. The trick is to work out how to get enough curcumin to your system to prevent or combat the disease.
Turmeric also is not a magic cure-all by itself. It probably works together with other spices and nutrients to promote decent health, Anant adds.